WEARING YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE: TATTOOS + BOUDOIR
When Lady A. contacted me about doing a session with me at the studio, I was deeply intrigued by what she had to say over the phone.
Though we shoot and style all kinds of women, very often women are drawn to at least one singular classic look for their session. We try to make each woman look distinct to her own style. As artists, when a client wants to think outside the box stylistically, we get very, very excited.
Lady A described herself in many ways...
First, she claimed to be plus-size. "No problem," I told her, "I specialize in Plus Size boudoir. Boudoir is great for curvy girls." But after meeting her, we knew this was not actually the case, but rather a long-worn label in her mind, after her weight loss of over 45 pounds prior to her session with us. She was nothing but gorgeous curves wrapped in porcelain skin... Actually, more like a fine piece of painted porcelain china.
She told us that she had some tattoos, and asked if we could we incorporate them into the shoot. "Of course we can", I told her, not realizing until she arrived, Lady A is fully inked. A gorgeous inked sleeve, a painted leg, a completely inscribed torso. She was a work of art in vibrant, storytelling inks.
When I asked her to describe her beauty inspirations, she talked about old-Hollywood starlets ...and pinup icons like Dita Von Teese.
Even though Lady A. was only in her early twenties, I knew immediately we were dealing with an old soul.
She had a love for all things vintage that would tell a story of time passed.
After spending a few hours with her, it made complete sense why Lady A. was inked. A beautiful array of the pretty, the quirky, the powerful, the feminine, the lacy, the daunting and the nostalgic -- this was all covering our girl!
Her body was like a painted diary, telling us stories of her hopes, dreams, wishes and past.
You can't judge a book by its cover, or skin by its color -- even if that color is in vibrant hues of ink.
We immediately fell in love with sweet Lady A....her ferocity combined with a quiet demeanor. Her edginess merged with a very matured sense of grace and wisdom. Recently, I saw Lady A. post a funny story on Facebook. And older woman looked at her tattoos with a cautious skepticism...Clutched her purse, and then inched away. What she would have known, if she took the time to talk to our quietly serene girl -- was that she was a gentle soul, who loves cats, antiques, and music. Not robbing old ladies' purses.
I love tattoos (not for me -- but on others). I used to say that I don't photographed many tattooed women, because the nature of my work just doesn't seem to fit with them. Until I met Lady A. There is an art, a science, an aesthetic, and a bard in every tattooed woman. Lady A. introduced me to this, without saying very much at all.
And her movements -- she was very much a "natural poser", meaning that some of her own body movements were better than I could have directed her. She was positively CAT-like.
"Do you have a cat?" I asked her.
"Yes -- she is a wild, black cat."
...Of course she is, I thought.
She wore her heart on her sleeve, quite literally... As someone who reads people's emotions for a living, I completely understood every single etching.
Lady A. introduced me to the beauty and significance of ink.